Mexican Archer Eyes Pan Am Glory, Olympic Ticket

Teen archery prodigy Matías Grande Kalionchiz leads Mexico's charge for a team Olympic spot at the Pan American Championship. Grueling training and teamwork are key as they battle nerves and competition to secure their ticket to Paris 2024.

Mexican Archer Eyes Pan Am Glory, Olympic Ticket
Matías Grande Kalionchiz, Mexico's rising archery star, takes aim at his Olympic dreams. Credit: CONADE

After an outstanding competitive year in 2023, archer Matías Damián Grande Kalionchiz has his sights set on his next big goal: the Pan American Championships to be held from April 10 to 14 in Medellín, Colombia, where tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be up for grabs.

Together with Carlos Javier Rojas Lopez and Bruno Martinez Wing, the triple medalist in the Pan American Games Santiago 2023 will compete for the team place, since Mexico only has one individual medal in this branch, achieved by Grande Kalionchiz himself in Chilean territory.

“Of course there are nerves, but we have to handle it in the best possible way and avoid adverse emotions. We are a very strong and prepared team, so we can achieve that pass together. Every time there is an opportunity at continental level, Mexico takes it, and we have to go with that mentality,” he said.

“I'm going to enjoy the competition and give it my all; I know I have a bit of experience loaded on my back, so I can come through in moments of high demand, and so I can get a great result. I will be competitive and a great teammate,” he added.

For the talented 19-year-old goalkeeper, the key for the Aztec trident to obtain the Olympic quota will be in the synergy of individual and team skills, factors that will play a transcendental role not only for the aforementioned continental competition, but also for the following opportunities to qualify for the great event: the last World Cup in Turkey and via the world ranking.

“We must keep our individual and team strengths strong. We will compete against our own emotions and adversities that arise due to the tournament. If we beat ourselves, we can achieve podium finishes in the most important competitions this year,” he said.

The winner of gold medals by teams and mixed teams in the Central American Games San Salvador 2023 and the Pan American Championship of the specialty 2022 is facing his third year as national team and second in a row as the best archer in the country, a stage in which he has been perfected in the National Center for Development of Sports Talents and High Performance (CNAR).

“We had a very complicated preparation, I don't think we had ever been so tired. We gave it 100%, and it was something that the coach noticed and was very happy about. We obtained very good scores despite that demand, thanks also to the technical staff of the CNAR that always provides us with the best”, concluded the Guanajuato athlete.